First of all, I wish to offer a heart felt Eid Mubarak. May Allah accept all of your efforts during this sacred month and keep you on the straight path.
In this final Ramadan article, I want to very briefly discuss the importance of attending the mosque and praying together with fellow Muslims.
There are many ahadith which mention the rewards for making wudu and going to the mosque and praying in congregation. But these rewards are only meant for those who actually attend the mosque.
Sadly, many Muslims do not attend the mosque at all or if they do, it is for Friday prayers or perhaps during Ramadan for Taraweeh prayers. This is evidenced by the fact that the mosques are full to capacity on Fridays, during Taraweeh in Ramadan and of course eid prayers. But the rest of the time the mosques are more than 1/4 full at best.
Where did all these people go the rest of the week or the rest of the year? I am not saying that it is possible to attend the mosque for every single prayer, but it is a good thing to make a habit of attending the mosque several times a week beyond the Friday prayer.
This should be done if for no other reason than the immense rewards that are associated with going to the mosque and praying in congregation.
But there is also a sociological dimension associated with congregational prayer, and that has to do with the formation of group solidarity and identity, as well as getting to know fellow believers in a religious setting which is instrumental in solidifying one’s faith.
And what sets us apart as Muslims? It is not the colours of our skin, nor is it the countries that we came from, the languages that we speak or the tribes or geographical regions that we identify with.
What sets us apart as Muslims and makes us distinct from everyone else is the kalimah in which we testify to the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad — peace be upon him. And we need to continually ensure that this kalimah remains firm within us because it is the only pathway to paradise. That is why coming together and praying collectively in a group is so important as it helps us to strengthen our faith as well as our resolve to bring Islam into our lives in a more profound and real way. This does not happen to the person who isolates themselves from the congregational worship and instead stays at home and prays on their own. In fact, such people become prey for Shaytaan.
‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “It is incumbent upon you to be with the Muslim group and you must avoid disunity. The Shaytaan is with a single person and it is far from two persons.” [At-Tirmithi]
Even if you don’t feel that you need anybody else to practice your faith, consider the notion that perhaps somebody needs you for support. But if you stay away and keep to yourself how can you be of any support to anyone else?
You may ask the question how is it that you going to the mosque is going to be any kind of support to anybody else? I will answer that question by stating that the more we see one another in a larger setting praying in one direction to Allah, the more our faith will be solidified and we come to the realization that we are not alone but are part of something larger than ourselves.
The fact of the matter is that we need one another for support at a time when our faith is continually under attack, as well as the numerous temptations that draw us away from the remembrance of Allah.
As Ramadan comes to a close and we go on with the regular routine of our lives, let’s remember the Mosque and try to attend it on a more regular basis. You will benefit from it and others will benefit from your attendance. You may not see it that way, but your presence is a real blessing.
Once again, Eid Mubarak!